Demystifying Superfoods

Lately, a lot of attention is being placed on Superfoods as evidenced by rising inquires, searches, and opinions about the term. This is mainly seen in the world of healthy living and nutrition where people are encouraged to adopt a healthy diet. However, many people are yet to embrace leave alone understanding what a superfood is partly because it is a fairly new terminology in the market. This has led to lots of mystery and untruths about superfood.

What Is A Superfood?

“Miracle food, wonder food, is some of the definitions of a superfood. However, according to the National Health Society (NHS), UK, there isn’t a distinct description of what a superfood is and this has led to many kinds of definitions. But, a common aspect about superfoods is that they are special types of foods that are considered the most health courtesy of their high nutritional value while having very low levels of calories. They have a high concentration of essential nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Types of Superfoods

blueberriesMajority of superfoods are plant-based and come in form of berries or fruits and include the following:

Acai berries: they contain a variety of antioxidants, 19 amino acids, and high volumes of flavonoids which reduce the risk of heart attacks

Blueberries: have higher fiber content, vitamin K, and manganese, and lower the risk of infections of the urinary tract.

Goji berries: these are tiny berries native to Asia and have high level of vitamin E and C as well as flavonoids. They were traditionally used to cure high blood pressure, diabetes, kidneys, eye infection, and liver conditions.

Red grapes: Contain large volumes of quercetin and resveratrol which improve heart condition, lower the risk of diabetes as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Other notable superfoods include spirulina, soybean, blue-green algae, raspberries, garlic, wheatgrass, tart cherries, beets, cranberries, turmeric, shiitake mushrooms, tea, Brazil nuts, and barley among others. Animal-based superfoods include fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, 

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Superfoods?

The Royal Horticultural Society encourages people to incorporate more and more superfoods into their diet so as to live a healthier lifestyle. These foods contain antioxidants which get rid of harmful free radicals from the body. They also boost the immune system and lower the chances of getting heart diseases, liver ailments, cancer, stroke, arthritis, respiratory infections, Parkinson’s disease, immune deficiency, emphysema, and other ischemic or inflammatory conditions. Superfoods also improve the respiratory and metabolic system.

According to Penny Kris-Etherton, a dietician, a superfood does come with many health benefits. However, it is not a magic or miracle cure, and people need to follow a healthy and balanced diet in addition to consuming superfoods and not substituting them for the real diet.